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Archive for September 30th, 2009

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Southern Sumatra, Indonesia

Posted by feww on September 30, 2009

More Megaquakes May Strike PRF Anytime

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake strikes southern Sumatra, Indonesia

Magnitude 7.9 earthquake struck southern Sumatra, Indonesia, 50 km (30 miles) WNW of Padang, at a depth  of about 85 km on Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

Only hours ago, having briefly analyzed details of the Samoan earthquake, FEWW had foretasted that up to 3 more powerful quakes could strike the Pacific Ring of Fire in 2009.

Four weeks ago a deadly earthquake measuring  7.3 to 7.6 Mw struck off the coast of Java, Indonesia, killing more than 80 people and injuring at least another 1,250.

Tsunami Warning

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (NOAA) has issued a tsunami warning based on the size and location of the earthquake for countries bordering Indian Ocean: Indonesia, India, Thailand and Malaysia.

Damage Report

“People are panicking. They are running out of the buildings… There are many collapsed buildings,” an eye-witness in Padang told a local TV station.

“Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road. There are some fires, bridges are cut and there is extreme panic here maybe because water pipes are broken and there is flooding in the streets,” another witness told Reuters.

“Hundreds of houses have been damaged along the road,” another eye-witness in Padang said.

“There are some fires, bridges are cut and there is extreme panic here maybe because water pipes are broken and there is flooding in the streets.”

Padang has a population of just under 1,000,000 people. There were no reports of casualties as of posting; however, given that so many buildings have collapsed, it’s more than likely that many people would have been killed or injured.

According to a local report, power and phone lines are down in Pandang and several other parts of Indonesia.

The mainshock was followed by a strong aftershock measuring 6.0  GFZ Potsdam/ Earthquake Bulletin reported. More strong aftershocks are highly probable.

10-degree Map Centered at 0°N,100°E

Southern Sumatara - 30 September 2009
Earthquake Location Map.

GFZ Potsdam – Earthquake Bulletin
Region:     Southern Sumatra, Indonesia
Time:     2009-09-30 10:16:10.4 UTC
Magnitude:     7.8
Epicenter:     99.87°E   0.80°S
Depth:     84 km
Status:     manually revised

Earthquake Details (according to USGS)

  • Magnitude: 7.9
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 10:16:10 UTC
    • Wednesday, September 30, 2009 at 05:16:10 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 0.797°S, 99.925°E
  • Depth: 85 km (52.8 miles)

    • 50 km (30 miles) WNW of Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 225 km (140 miles) SW of Pekanbaru, Sumatra, Indonesia
    • 475 km (295 miles) SSW of KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia
    • 960 km (600 miles) NW of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 10.6 km (6.6 miles); depth +/- 16.1 km (10.0 miles)
    Parameters:  NST= 44, Nph= 44, Dmin=523.2 km, Rmss=1.44 sec, Gp= 47°,   M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009mebz

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Posted in Indian Ocean tsunami, Indonesia tsunami, large earthquakes, megaquakes, sumatra tsunami | Tagged: , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Samoa Tsunami Update

Posted by feww on September 30, 2009

Samoa Tsunami: Images and Update

The tsunami occurred after a  massive earthquake measuring up to 8.4 Mw struck in the Samoa Islands Region about 185 km (115 miles) east-northeast of Hihifo, Tonga and 195 km (125 miles) south  of APIA, Samoa.

According to various reports

  • A series of of three or more tsunamis struck into the Pacific islands of American and Western Samoa destroying villages
  • At least 4 villages were wiped off.
  • Dozens of people, including many children, were  swept out to sea
  • As many as 100 people have been killed, with many hundred more injured
  • U.S. President Obama has declared American Samoa a major disaster area
  • A 4-meter (13-foot) wave hit the  northern coast of Tonga.
  • A Pacific-wide tsunami warning was issued, but later canceled.
  • Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA) issued a local tsunami warning for its east coast, warning of a possible tsunami waves measuring up to 50cm.
  • The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center later reported that small tsunami waves had indeed reached Hawaii, and warned swimmers and boats that the waves could prove dangerous.
  • Several  South Pacific island nations reported rising sea levels.

Samoa tsunami
Formerly Leone village, American Samoa. Photograph: Ardie Roque/EPA. Image may be subject to copyright.


  • The southern section of American Samoa’s main Tutuila island  was “devastated,” its governor said, with at least 24 people  killed and twice as many injured.
  • As video images come in,  the extent of the damage becomes more evident with homes destroyed by the waves, large fishing boats hurled ashore, and vehicles piled on top of each other.
  • “Some areas have been flattened and the tsunami brought a lot of sand onshore, so there have been reports the sand has covered some of the bodies,” Western Samoa’s disaster management office said.
  • “They are still continuing the searches for any missing bodies in the area,” they said, adding that the southern section of their country’s main island of Upolu was the worst hit.

samoa under water
A section of Fagatogo, Tutuila Island, Pago Pago Harbor, American Samoa, is seen inundated after the tsunami struck. Photograph: Fili Sagapolutele/APImage may be subject to copyright.

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Posted in Earthquake news, Samoa earthquake, Samoa Islands Region, samoa quake, The Largest Earthquake, TONGA REGION | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »